Prevent Sewer Backflow with These Effective Solutions


Prevent Sewer Backflow with These Effective Solutions

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A sewer backflow preventer is simply a must-have device in any residential or commercial building. The good news is, this vital tool has been gaining attention for its crucial role in protecting structures from the damaging and health-threatening effects of sewage backup. In this blog post, we’ll delve into what exactly this device is, why it’s essential, the major types available, and important steps on how you can maintain it. Get ready to become an expert on the elegant engineering behind the sewer backflow preventer.

Understanding The Sewer Backflow Preventer

A sewer backflow preventer, also known as a backwater valve, is a device installed into a sewer line in the basement of a building to prevent sewer backflows. Backflow happens when there’s a reversal of the normal flow of water, potentially leading to an inflow of dirty, contaminated water into your clean water supply. A sewer backflow preventer is designed to block this from happening, maintaining the health and safety of the building’s inhabitants.

Why You Need a Sewer Backflow Preventer

Sewer backflows can occur due to several reasons such as heavy rainfall, clogs in the city sewer line, or even a burst pipe. Whatever the cause, the consequences of a sewer backflow can be extreme, leading to property damage and potential health risks. With a backflow preventer in place, such eventualities can be averted. Below are some key reasons why you need a sewer backflow preventer:

  • Health Protection: The prevention of contaminated water from entering your clean water system is a fundamental step in protecting your health and that of others in the building.

  • Damage Prevention: Sewer backflows can result in water damage to your property. A backflow preventer restricts these incidents, thereby saving you significant repair costs.

  • Compliance with Local Laws and Regulations: In many areas, local laws and building codes require the installation of sewer backflow preventers.

The Different Types of Sewer Backflow Preventers

Sewer backflow preventers come in various types, each designed to suit different situations, pipe sizes, and flow rates. Some of the prevalent types include:

  • Reduced Pressure Zone (RPZ) Backflow Preventers: Suited for high-risk applications, these contain two independent check valves with a differential pressure relief valve between them.

  • Double Check Valve Assembly (DCVA): Typically used in lower-risk applications, this assembly consists of two check valves installed in series.

  • Pressure Vacuum Breaker (PVB): Ideal for irrigation systems, this device contains a single check valve and an air inlet valve that opens when the pressure falls below atmospheric pressure.

Choosing the Right Sewer Backflow Preventer

Selecting the right sewer backflow preventer is critical for efficient protection against backflows. Important factors to consider include the level of risk, local regulations, type of building or system, and your budget.

Maintaining Your Sewer Backflow Preventer

Proper maintenance of your backflow preventer is crucial to ensure its long-term efficacy. Here are some steps you can take to keep your device in top shape:

  • Regular Inspections: Schedule regular inspections of your backflow preventer to pinpoint any potential issues early.

  • Professional Testing: Get your device tested annually by certified professionals to guarantee its working condition.

  • Timely Repairs: If your backflow preventer is leaking or not functioning correctly, seek immediate repairs to avoid damaging your property or infrastructure.

With a better understanding of the sewer backflow preventer, it’s clear how essential this device is for every building owner. Making the right choice and ensuring its proper maintenance can go a long way in safeguarding your property and health from the risk of backflows. As the proverb goes, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Frequently Asked Questions about the Sewer Backflow Preventer

Understanding the role and function of your sewer backflow preventer can save you a lot of trouble, and possibly even protect your health. In this FAQ session, we will respond to the commonly raised questions relating to the sewer backflow preventer, from its installation, maintenance, and so much more.

How does a sewer backflow preventer work?

Basically, a sewer backflow preventer is a device that is installed in a sewer or drainage line to prevent sewer water from flowing back into the building. It operates based on a simple mechanism: when water flows in the right direction, it pushes the flap open. But when sewer water attempts to flow backward, it pushes the flap shut. This mechanism thus blocks sewer water from entering back into the property.

Where is the sewer backflow preventer located?

Sewer backflow preventers are generally located in your sewer lateral – the pipeline that connects your home or building to the public sewer. It's usually found outside of the home, in your yard or in the basement. The exact location can vary based on your property's unique layout.

Why do I need a sewer backflow preventer?

Having a sewer backflow preventer is necessary as it protects your home from sewer water backflow. This commonly happens when there is a blockage in your sewer line. If left unchecked, sewer water can flow back into your property and cause substantial damage. More importantly, it protects your home from potential health hazards associated with sewage water contaminations.

Are there different types of sewer backflow preventers?

Yes, sewer backflow preventers come in several different types depending on the kind of application they are required for. For residential properties, swing type sewer backflow preventers are usually the choice. For commercial properties that may have more than one sewage or drain line, a modular type might be the best fit.

Who can install a sewer backflow preventer?

Installing a sewer backflow preventer requires a certain level of experience and expertise, so it is not a typical DIY project. Always hire a licensed and experienced plumber who is familiar with local codes and can ensure the installation is done correctly and safely.

How often do I need to check my sewer backflow preventer?

It is advisable to inspect your sewer backflow preventer at least once a year. Regular checking can help identify any potential problems early before they become major issues. Furthermore, in some jurisdictions, annual inspections are required by law.

What should I do if my sewer backflow preventer is not working properly?

Sewer backflow preventers are made to last, but like any other mechanical device, they can fail over time. If you notice any signs of malfunction such as unusual noises, visible leaks, or sewage backup, immediately call a professional to get your device inspected and repaired.

Can a sewer backflow preventer affect my water pressure?

A properly installed and functioning sewer backflow preventer should not affect your water pressure. If you notice a difference in your water pressure after the installation, it might be an indication that the device was installed incorrectly or there might be a problem with the device. In this case, consult with a professional.

Pros of Sewer Backflow Preventers

Protection Against Sewage Backup

A primary advantage of sewer backflow preventers is offering protection against sewage backup. In cases where the municipal sewer line experiences overflow, it can lead to wastewater finding its way back into your property through your sewer line. This backflow is not only disgusting but also presents health risks. A sewer backflow preventer stops this from happening by creating a one-way gate for wastewater, so it can only exit your property, not re-enter.

Cost Effective in the Long Run

  • Once installed, a sewer backflow preventer can save homeowners significantly in potential repair costs associated with backflow damage.

  • Sewer backflow can cause serious damage to structures and can result in expensive clean-up activities. The preventer, while having upfront costs, saves money over time by preventing these incidents.

Increased Property Value

Properties with sewer backflow preventers can be considered more valuable. This is because they are seen as safeguarded against major plumbing failures that may lead to the requirement of costly repairs.

Cons of Sewer Backflow Preventers

Installation Costs

  • The installation of sewer backflow preventers may magnify plumbing costs, as it requires the expertise of a professional plumber.

  • The cost may especially be high if the plumbing system of the building was not originally designed to accommodate a preventer.

Maintenance and Replacement Costs

Sewer backflow preventers are mechanical devices that require regular maintenance to keep them functioning effectively. Failing to maintain them adequately could lead to malfunctioning and potential damage to your property. Furthermore, they have a limited lifespan and may need to be replaced every few years, which also costs money.

Limited Use

Sewer backflow preventers are designed to only stop backflow from municipal sewer lines. This means they will not prevent backflow incidents that originate within your property, such as those caused by blockages in your internal drainage system.

False Sense of Security

While a sewer backflow preventer can be effective in preventing backflow from municipal lines, it's essential to understand that it's not a cure-all solution to all plumbing concerns. Other plumbing issues such as blockages and pipe leakages can still occur.


A sewer backflow preventer is a savior in maintaining a clean and hygienic home environment. Acting as a guardian to your property, this device prevents sewage from re-entering your house during instances of plumbing issues or heavy downpours. Without it, handling sewage backup could turn into a costly nightmare, ruining your property and posing serious health hazards.

Installing a sewer backflow preventer is not just about keeping your basement dry and odour-free. It's about preventing potentially harmful bacteria and other diseases from entering your home. Regardless of whether your area is prone to flooding or not, it's a preventive measure that holds importance for every homeowner.

Above all, the advantage of peace of mind that comes from knowing you have a safeguard against sewer backups cannot be overstated. The sewer backflow preventer is an investment in the safety and wellbeing of your home and everyone living in it. So don't wait for a catastrophe to strike; take the proactive step of installing a backflow preventer to secure your home from unnecessary sewer mess.

About Perfect Air & Water Services

Welcome to Perfect Air & Water Services, your go-to company in Lakewood, NJ for all your air and water service needs. We take pride in providing reliable, efficient, and personalized solutions to ensure your living or working environment is comfortable. Our experienced professionals strive to offer exceptional customer service, ensuring your needs are promptly and accurately addressed. With our quality equipment and advanced technology, we're confident in our ability to keep your air and water systems running flawlessly. Trust Perfect Air & Water Services for maintaining the perfect atmosphere in your home or business!